Julie Walters has lost a diamond earring that she says is worth more than her house. It's a valuable lesson for us all as to how easy it is to lose something so valuable and portable.
She had borrowed the jewellery for the BAFTA ceremony, where she picked up the outstanding British Film award for Brooklyn. She said after the ceremony that when she arrived on stage she suddenly realised she only had one earring on. She joked that the earring was probably worth more than her house, adding that she'd have a good look for it, as somebody had already found part of it.
Not the first
She's not the first star to have made this kind of mistake. A few years ago Mad Men star Christina Hendricks is said to have lost an $850,000 bracelet at the Golden Globes - although it was later found at the event and returned to her.
ER actress Michael Michelle also lost a diamond bracelet at a charity event (this time in 2011). It was worth more than £150,000 so she was said to have been more than a little distressed - although the bracelet was later found on the stairs at the venue.
It goes to show how easy it is to lose track of valuables like jewellery. According to insurer NFU you are 13 times more likely to lose jewellery than to have it stolen.
Nicki Whittaker, a high value home specialist at the insurer, says you're actually more likely to lose the item doing something mundane than attending a posh event, explaining: "According to our claims data, people are most likely to lose items whilst engaging in a sport or hobby, doing a spot of gardening or whilst shopping. Swimming in the sea and misplacing items during a house move were also common reasons for loss." She added that loose clasps, ill-fitting rings and removing items in order to do messy jobs were also commonly mentioned in claims.
It's therefore worth checking every-so-often that everything is working properly. You should also take jewellery off before doing anything strenuous that could damage the item or make you lose it - and make sure you always put it in the same safe spot. Water acts as a lubricant, so it's also wise to remove rings before doing the washing-up, swimming or going into the sea.
Of course it's terribly upsetting when you lose any item of jewellery - especially when it has sentimental value, but you can take the sting out of the process if it's insured, and you have done everything you can in advance to ensure any claim goes smoothly.
This means making sure you are definitely covered - and it doesn't exceed the maximum value allowed by your insurance policy. You should also consider how you will protect your valuables if you take them on holiday with you, and check your insurance policy to see what cover you have for items away from the home. Ideally, you should also keep hold of any receipts, valuations, boxes, and guarantees, plus a photo of you wearing the item in question.
Of course, even with the most rigorous precautions things can go wrong. The insurer also revealed some of the most bizarre claims it has seen, including: an engagement ring that was eaten by a dog; a bracelet that was stolen by a magpie and £13,500 of jewellery that was thrown away with the rubbish.
As Julie Walters knows all too well, sometimes you can just be unlucky.